BICENTENARY MEMORIAL, MEXICO CITY
Invited competition in which the government of Mexico asked 17 Mexican architectural firms to project a ‘commemorative arch’ on the Reforma Avenue in Mexico City to commemorate the Bicentennial of Mexican Independence.
We proposed an intervention in the form of a huge ring (with a diameter of 100 meter) hovering over a new triangular square and the Reforma Avenue, establishing a visual dialogue with the existing monuments on the Avenue. The circle, as a perfect geometric element, without beginning or end, here defined the continuity of time and the simplicity of its form makes it an easy recognizable urban element.
The ring will function from different viewpoints as a device that frames the existing Castle of Chapultepec and the Angel of Independency, creating a new and contemporary reading of these historic monuments: a bridge in time that links the city of the past with the city of today.
On the place where Reforma deviates from its historical course, a new square with two complementary areas is created. On the one hand there is a big triangular esplanade below the new monument: an animated plaza that functions a urban lobby for the office and hotel area situated along the Avenue. On the other side a area with benches and a checkerboard pattern of trees introduces the access to the Chapultepec Park: an oasis of shadow and tranquility submerged into the urban chaos of the metropolis.
Introducing a new hub for public transport, reinstalling the beautiful building of the Secretary of Health as key element in the urban composition and improving the pedestrian connections of the area, convert this demand for a monument into a real project of urban regeneration and restructuring of the city.
Collaborators: David Ortega (project director), Diego Escamilla, Arturo Álvarez, Mariana Ruiz, Gerardo Ramírez, Per Carlsen, Florence Sam / Graphic Design: Alex Quinto / Structural Engineering: Guy Nordenson and Associates / Light Specialist: Luz en Arquitectura (Kai Diederichsen) / Cost Calculations: Factor Eficiencia (Fermín Espinosa) / Photography: Herb Lingl (aerial), Andrés Arenas / Location: Reforma Avenue, Mexico City / Type: Invited Competition – Urban Monument / Organization: Federal Government / Date: April 2009